The death of the man who led the Palestinian national struggle is being seen by many as an opportunity to revive the stalled Mideast peace process.
Palestinian, Israeli, U.S. and British leaders Friday were among those who expressed hope that a new opportunity for peace is at hand. Both Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and President Bush had refused to meet with Mr. Arafat because they considered him an impediment to peace.
Mr. Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair met Friday and said they see a great chance to create an independent Palestinian state living at peace with Israel.
Israel's ambassador to the United States, Daniel Ayalon, told Cable News Network he believes his government can work with the new Palestinian leadership, as long as it commits to fighting terrorism.
In the West Bank, Palestinian Foreign Minister Nabil Sha'ath told CNN this opportunity for peace should not be lost. He said all sides should be committed to peace, not violence.